Rosalie has Multiple sclerosis. She has the progressive type, which doesn’t relapse, but progressively worsens.
Over time, symptoms have taken away Rosalie’s ability to walk or use her hands.
A few years ago it became apparent that Rosalie needed more help at home than was realistic, so she made the difficult decision to move to Castleview Care Centre, a complex care facility with the staff and equipment required to lift Rosalie in and out of her bed, into the bath and onto a commode. The staff there also dress and feed Rosalie, and do all her personal care.
May is MS Awareness Month. Multiple sclerosis is the most common neurological disease to affect young adults, and Canada has the highest rate in the world. There is no cure. Most people who have MS have the relapsing remitting type, which includes periods of normal or near-normal health, with relapses that last anywhere from a couple of days to a year, and then things settle down and go back to normal (or near normal).
During those relapses, people with MS experience vision problems, numbness and tingling in the extremities, fatigue, pain, or a host of other symptoms.
Rosalie is an intelligent and articulate woman. She is interested in history, genealogy, trivia, food, and learning. She also enjoys TV and audio books.
Despite these few pleasures, Rosalie is living her life out of a bedroom, which she only leaves for her weekly bath. Her partner Bill visits daily, and her friends drop in when they can, but otherwise Rosalie is alone much of the time.
The staff do their best, but they are busy with 60 other residents to care for, and don’t have time for a good long chat.
Rosalie would love company and has agreed to sharing her story in the hopes that someone out there will read this and want to meet her every week or two for a visit and maybe to read to her.
Volunteer visitors must be screened with a criminal record check and vulnerable sector check.
If you think you would enjoy visiting Rosalie, you can contact Lonnie at the MS Society at 1-800-268-7582, ext. 7259 for information on how to get involved. You can also make a donation at mssociety.ca.